All-round effort led by Khadka takes Nepal to last-over win in high-scoring match against Kenya
Rakep Patel had smashed 103 off 45 balls to lead Kenya’s recovery from 32 for 4 in the seventh over and help his side post 182 for 7, but an all-round batting effort by Nepal secured victory with two balls to spare.
Chasing a stiff target, Nepal built its innings well after the early loss of Pradeep Airee at the beginning of the second over. Following the early setback, Subash Khakurel, the wicketkeeper, along with Gyanendra Malla (32 off 22 balls), put on 77 runs off 56 balls, before Malla was stumped off Hiren Varaiya, the left-arm spinner. The dismissal brought Paras Khadka, the captain, to the crease. Khadka first put on 45 runs off 32 balls with Khakurel before adding a further 35 runs with Binod Bhandari (12). With 20 runs needed off eight deliveries, Sharad Vesawkar hit three sixes on the way to scoring 23 off just six deliveries, taking Nepal home in the final over. Khadka remained unbeaten on 54 off 31, having hit three boundaries and four sixes.
Earlier, Kenya recovered well from its poor start thanks to Patel. He shared a 131-run stand for the fifth wicket with Morris Ouma (37) that lifted Kenya, and eventually gave the team a very good total. Patel’s innings had five fours and as many as ten sixes. He fell in the 18th over to Khadka.
Jitendra Mukhiya and Basant Regmi, Nepal’s opening bowlers, took two wickets each.